19 practical gifts for your loved ones that aren’t going to become white elephants

The gifting season is here and while some people find it super easy to find gifts for their loved ones, we noticed that there are people out there who face some difficulties. This is especially so if they’re looking to buy a practical gift for their loved ones so that the item doesn’t become a white elephant at home.

If you find yourself in the same predicament, you’ve come to the right place. AVENUE ONE has rounded up several practical gifts for the most important people of your life!

1. Office/Gaming chair

If your loved one has been working from home for a while now, and you don’t foresee them heading back to the office anytime soon, why not invest in a good quality office chair so that they won’t have any back pain from sitting at the desk for long hours? This will be a practical gift as they will get to use it every single day, instead of something that they will leave inside the wardrobe for months before casually remembering it later on in the future.

Gaming chairs are known to provide lots of comfort especially since gamers tend to sit at their desks gaming away for consecutive hours each time. As such, you can consider getting a gaming chair too for your loved ones.

Secret Lab and Ergotune are two popular options amongst the public these days because of the amount of support and comfort the chairs give, but we all know that these come with a hefty price tag.

If you’re looking for something that wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket because you’re intending to buy presents for a couple of people, IKEA has just partnered with ASUS’ Republic of Gamers to release a new line of gaming chairs that are built with high quality materials at a much more pocket-friendly price.

The basic model costs S$119, and you can add on a S$12.90 neck pillow for additional comfort to the neck area. Alternatively, you can also get the UTESPELARE Gaming Chair for S$199, which features an exclusive diamond-quilted fabric that lines the entire seat.

ikea gaming chair
Credit: IKEA

You can also recline slightly for any quick recharge after a long day at work. The back of the chair also comes with a mesh holder for you to put any snacks whatsoever if you need to.

And the last model, the MATCHSPEL Gaming Chair, costs S$259 and this comes with slightly more features. The backrest is mesh, allowing for air circulation even as you lean on it for prolonged periods of time. The head rest and the arm rests can all be adjusted to your preference so that it is comfortable for you.

ikea gaming chair
Credit: IKEA

You can view IKEA’s line of gaming chairs here.

2. Eco Bag

Now that we’re all trying to be more green in everything that we do, more companies and stores are starting to encourage the use of reusable bags instead of plastic bags. If you purchase something and you don’t have an eco bag with you, you would have to pay S$0.10 for a plastic bag.

S$0.10 may not seem like a lot, but the damage to our earth is huge as we continue the use of plastic bags. Consider getting an eco bag as a practical gift for your loved ones. Peco Bag, a Singapore-based company, offers eco bags made from recycled plastic bottles with beautiful and unique designs that cannot be found elsewhere. Personalise the gifts by choosing the design best suited to your giftee’s character.

The bags come in solid colours for those looking for something simple and minimalistic, and also patterns like checkers and fruits, and flowers, for those who are a bit more adventurous.

black peco bag
Credit: Peco Bag
avocado peco bag
Credit: Peco Bag
checkered peco bag
Credit: Peco Bag

These bags can hold up to 10kg worth of items and only cost S$13.95 for one. When not in use, the bags can be folded into a small and compact pouch for you to keep easily.

These can be ordered online at the Peco Bag website.

3. Airbot Airism V8

This practical gift is perfect for new homeowners as it is a cordless vacuum cleaner, allowing your loved ones to vacuum without the worry of tangled wires.

The Airbot Airism V8 is lightweight and slim so it is easy for anyone to manoeuvre. You can also use this at any time of the day thanks to its noise-cancelling features.

airbot airism v8
Credit: Shopee

This vacuum comes with a hybrid scrubber brush, fluffy full hair brush, crevice nozzle, 2-in-1 soft brush, HEPA filter, cyclone, and dust cup to make your cleaning journey much easier than it currently is. Switch between the different nozzles for difficult-to-clean areas and soon, your house will be sparkling clean.

The Airbot Airism V8 is available for S$129.90 on Shopee.

4. Diatomite mat

This is a practical gift for anyone who loves drinking cold drinks but hates the condensation marks that they leave behind on the table.

diatomite mat
Credit: Shopee

The Diatomite Mat is a good solution to this issue as the material is highly porous and absorbent. This allows any moisture to be quickly absorbed and ensures that the area is always dry and moist free. The mats have grooves to increase the surface area so that water absorption can be done at a higher rate.

diatomite mat
Credit: Shopee

These mats can be used as coasters as well as sink side mats to keep your soaps and sponges dry in the kitchen, or your toothbrushes moist-free in the bathroom.

The Diatomite Mat is available from S$5.90 on Shopee.

5. Owala water bottle

Water bottles are a practical gift that you can give to anyone. However, if you know that your loved one is always on the road because their job requires them to drive a lot, consider getting the Owala water bottle instead of any other water bottles out there on the market.

The FreeSip Owala bottle boasts a built-in straw and a wide-mouth opening. If you’ve tried taking a swig out of a water bottle in a car, you would know that sometimes, it will end up with your shirt, and possibly also pants, being wet because of the car moving forward all of a sudden. With the Owala FreeSip water bottle, you won’t have to face this issue again.

owala freesip bottle
Credit: Owala

When the car is moving, simply drink from your bottle with the built-in straw. And when you’re out of the car, you can easily drink the water with the wide-mouth opening if you’re more used to it.

owala freesip bottle
Credit: Owala

The bottles come in both the plastic version and the insulated version. This practical gift would be perfect for those looking to store their cold drinks on the go.

The Owala FreeSip bottle is available from S$26.90 on Lazada and Amazon.

6. Gift sets for new mothers

If your loved one has just given birth to a baby, you might want to get them this new mother gift set from Handmade Heroes, a local all-natural and cruelty-free vegan brand.

The Essential Mama+Baby Care Package, which costs S$58.90, comes with a dry shampoo which will come in handy if the new mother doesn’t have time for a hair wash. A blending brush is also provided so that the mother can easily spread the product in her hair with just one hand, while the other tends to her baby.

mama and baby essential set from handmade heroes
Credit: Handmade Heroes

Since breastfeeding can cause the nipples to become cracked, dry, and overworked, the nursing balm will help to soothe and moisturise the area so that they don’t hurt the mother as much. And for the baby who might have any redness or itchiness due to having to wear a diaper, the diaper balm will help to ease the side effects. A massage oil is also included for the mother to massage her little one and have some nice little bonding time.

If you’re looking to customise the gift set, you can actually do so on the website, and you can even choose products that you think the mother would like. Handmade Heroes offers a variety of products that are bound to make anyone feel pampered.

Check out the Essential Mama+Baby Care Package here and other items here.

7. The Imprint’s Travel Bundle Set

If your loved one is intending to take advantage of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) to travel some place this end of the year, you might want to consider getting The Imprint’s Travel Bundle Set. This set comes with a passport cover and a luggage tag made from high-quality saffiano reinforced vegan leather.

the imprint travel bundle set
Credit: The Imprint

The Imprint boasts that vegan leather is cruelty-free, and it mimics the microscopic structure of genuine leather. It is also more durable and of better quality than other types of vegan leather that are currently out on the market.

But that’s not all. The items by The Imprint allows for personalisation, so you get to include a monogram of your loved ones’ name or initials on the passport cover and the luggage tag.

This practical gift will show how much thought you have put in and will be something that reminds them of you whenever they travel.

The Travel Bundle Set is available for S$48.90 here.

8. Watches

We all need to tell time, and watches are the traditional way to do so when we can’t access our smartphones. This makes watches a practical gift you can consider for your loved ones.

Now, we know that there are superstitions surrounding watches as presents, but here’s a way you can work past it. Right before you give the gift, ask for S$0.10 from your recipient so that it would be like they bought the watch from you.

Other than its practicality, watches also serve as something meaningful because you are essentially gifting your recipient time. It reminds them of how much you want to spend time with them, and this will in turn encourage them to go for meetings and end them on time so that they can see you. Watches are also very personal, because you get to pick out a design that you think will suit them the best.

Of course, with the current work-from-home situation, you might feel that your wristwatches might not be getting as much attention as last time. So here’s something that will be practical for your recipients, a smartwatch.

The Apple Watch SE is a good smartwatch you can consider as it not only tells the time, it also keeps you connected with the world because you’ll get notifications on it even when your smartphone is not with you. The smartwatch also comes with fitness apps that will track and monitor your health.

apple watch se
Credit: Apple

The good thing about Apple Watches is that it calls for help when you need it. When Fall Detection is on and the Apple Watch detects that you’ve had a hard fall, it will automatically call emergency services and send your location to them so that you can get all the assistance that you need.

For those who are not Apple users, you can get them the Galaxy Watch 4, which runs the new Wear OS that was created through collaboration between Google and Samsung. The watch can track one’s calorie intake and workouts. The watch is also able to scan your body fat so that you have a general sense of whether you’re healthy.

samsung galaxy watch
Credit: Samsung

The Apple Watch SE is available for S$419 while the Galaxy Watch 4 is available for S$598.

9. Watch winder

Anyone who wears an automatic watch will understand the trouble they have to go through to wind their watch back to the correct time and to give it enough ‘power’ to start working again when they don’t wear the watch for just a couple of days.

watch winder
Credit: Amazon SG

This is because automatic watches do not run when the mainspring is fully unwound. This happens when the watches are not powered by movement.

So if you know that your loved one has an automatic watch, you can get them a watch winder, which is a practical gift that allows their automatic watch to always be running.

A good one you can consider is the JQUEEN Double Watch Winder with Quiet Japanese Mabuchi Motor that is available here for S$99.90.

10. Standing desk

Here’s another practical gift for your loved ones who are always at their desk because they are working from home. According to studies, it was found that sitting for prolonged periods of time can result in health issues like obesity, increased blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

If you’re concerned for your loved ones’ health, get them a standing desk which allows them to adjust the height of the table so that they can stand while they work.

Omnidesk and EverDesk+ are some brands that you can consider buying from. The basic model at Omnidesk costs S$349 while the basic model from EverDesk+ costs S$599.

ikea standing desk
Credit: IKEA

IKEA also offers its own range from S$299.

11. Smart scale

A smart scale is a practical gift that is a must-have for all health-conscious people. There’s no longer a need to head to your nearest gym to find out your body composition when you can simply stand on a smart scale and find out everything at home.

Things you can find out include your body-mass index, muscle mass, body fat percentage, bone density and metabolism rate. Some of the apps even give you tips on how to lower or increase the percentages to what’s considered healthy for your age, with your height and weight taken into consideration.

xiaomi smart scale
Credit: Xiaomi

One product you can consider is the Xiaomi Mi Smart Scale that can be purchased for S$45.90.

12. Temperature controlled mug

We all know that some drinks are best served hot, and when it gets cold after being left out for too long, most of us would just pour the drink away and make a new batch so that it’s hot again.

If your loved one faces this issue, get them this practical gift!

A temperature controlled smart mug will ensure that your beverage is kept at a constant temperature, reducing waste, and prolonging the experience of a good cuppa.

ember mug 2
Credit: Apple

The Ember Mug 2 can be adjusted to any temperature you would like. Simply pour the drink into the mug, and set the perfect temperature using the Ember app. You will receive a notification once the indicated temperature has been reached, and all you have to do is enjoy the beverage.

The Ember Mug 2 is safe to hand wash, and is available on the Apple website for S$169.

13. Coffee machine

Coffee is a drink that almost everyone drinks in the morning. For many, coffee is a must-have in order for them to function the entire day.

If you want to level up the experience of coffee-drinking for your loved ones, get them a coffee machine so that they can drink specialty coffee from the comfort of their own homes.

lor coffee machine
Credit: Lazada

NTUC Fairprice is currently having a promotion until 30 November where if you purchase 15 boxes of L’or coffee capsules which are S$6.95 each, you’ll get a L’or coffee machine worth S$168 for free. This is definitely a win-win situation because you’re essentially paying S$104.25 for a machine and a whole bunch of coffee capsules. Otherwise, if you’re looking to get the Nespresso coffee machine, the basic model alone will set you back S$168.

14. Air fryer

Air fryers are something that we all need in our lives because it’s so convenient to use. If you want to make some fries or chicken nuggets, just throw some frozen ones in the air fryer and they’ll be done in about 15 to 20 minutes.

mayer air fryer
Credit: Mayer

Air fryers are also a much healthier way of cooking as it simulates deep frying without the food being submerged in oil. This is a practical gift because it’s a good way for someone to prepare a meal without having to constantly watch over it, especially when they have work to do.

Air fryers are priced affordably from just S$54.90 and can be purchased at any electric appliance store.

15. Scalp brush/massager

Scalp health is very important, and while we all do try to scrub our scalp as clean as we can when we wash our hair, we are sometimes unable to get rid of the old skin cells that build up. Furthermore, scrubbing with our fingernails can be bad because there is bacteria underneath our fingernails that could enter those pores. This will then lead to problems such as having an itchy scalp with dandruff. There may also be situations where the pores on the scalp or filled with sebum, and this could cause hair loss.

grafen scalp brush
Credit: Watsons

If you care for your loved ones’ scalp health, consider getting them a scalp brush which not only functions as a cleanser, but also as a massager. The practical gift will help to remove any build-up of dead skin cells and also help to unclog any pores that are filled with sebum. When you brush your head more often with a scalp brush, you will start to notice that your scalp health will improve and hair loss can be minimised.

The scalp brush will also let your recipient feel relaxed when the brush stimulates the pressure points on their head.

One good scalp brush that is popular amongst people these days is Grafen’s Edge Finger scalp brush. It is available for S$14.32 on Watsons.

16. Massage gun

Working for long hours can easily cause muscle aches, especially in the shoulder area and the back area. When you move around a lot for work, your legs can also become easily tired.

Since massages tend to be expensive in Singapore, and not all of us have the time to go for one, consider getting a massage gun for your loved ones.

Credit: Synced

It is useful in reducing the soreness in your muscles and providing instant relief after a long day of work. You can use it anywhere, and all you have to do is switch it on and place it on the intended spot. Feel the pain melt away as you let it do its thing.

Theragun is available for S$422, but there are alternatives you can purchase on Shopee.

17. Apple TV 4K

For those who still don’t have a SMART TV, there are other ways to make their television smart. For one, you can buy them an Apple TV 4K which will grant them access to apps on the App Store like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video.

apple tv 4k
Credit: Apple

The Apple TV 4K even has an arcade which will allow your recipient to have a great time playing games on their big television screen. You can rent movies, buy episodes of your favourite shows, and even AirPlay something on your iPhone or Mac if you have a presentation to prepare for.

This practical gift is perfect for anyone thinking of getting a SMART TV.

The Apple TV 4K retails for S$269 for the 32GB edition and S$299 for the 64GB edition. It can be purchased online here.

18. Monitor light bar

Here’s another practical gift for those who are always at their desks, working away on their computers. A monitor light bar clips onto a monitor and provides relief to the eyes from the glare of the computer screen. It also lights up the work desk, allowing one to work better and focus more.

With a monitor light bar, space on the desk can also be saved because you won’t have to place a desk lamp on the table just so that the table can be lit up. And since it is powered by a USB cable that can be easily plugged into your computer, you don’t have to sacrifice any precious wall outlets just to turn on the light.

baseus monitor light
Credit: Challenger

Most monitor light bars also have different settings and different coloured lighting for different situations. If you want to be more productive, you can opt to turn on the white light. If not, you can use a dimmer light.

A good option for a monitor light bar is the Baseus USB Screen Hanging LED Light. It comes in two versions, the basic model and the pro model. The basic model can be purchased for S$39.90 while the pro model can be purchased for S$59.90. If you’re a Challenger member, you can get them at a discount.

19. Eye massager

After staring at a computer screen for the entire day, you might feel like your eyes are incredibly drained. So if you’re looking to make things better for your loved ones, get them an eye massager so that their eyes can get refreshed and prepared for the next day’s work.

osim eye massager
Credit: Shopee

The OSIM uMask Eye Massager features an eye mask made of a soft material that you can place over your eyes. Due to its contour at its nose bridge, it effectively blocks out any light, giving you a good night’s rest. Once you turn the massager on, it will gently vibrate, causing your eye muscles to relax. Doing this will also improve the circulation around your eyes, making your eyes feel rejuvenated after each session.

This practical gift is available for S$49 on Shopee.